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Technology trends 2014 – 2016 according to Forrester

November 29th, 2013



As we are fast approaching December, the predictions for 2014 are kicking into gear. I usually give these a bit of a wide berth, but Forrester’s top technology trends for the next three years peaked my interest.

You can download the Forrester trends to watch report here, for $499,  or get a great summary from Forbes here, but I wanted to pick out five from the list that I felt were most relevant to the comms sector. I’ve offered my brief thoughts under each point as summarised in the Forbes article. Let me know what you think.

To start us off the author of the report, Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins, introduced the report as follows: “Now that consumers and employees have continuous connectivity and an endless supply of apps, the CIO must drive the nimbleness that will be demanded by employees and customers, while he or she must also do so securely. These trends are so woven into the business drivers, that IT leaders must become much more strategic, providing the rationale for the changes that are afoot.”

1. Digital convergence erodes boundaries

Physical and digital worlds are converging. As a result consumers expect uniform service whether they are in the physical world or if they are in the digital world. The convergence of the business and personal use of technology is also fuelling this trend.

This is very interesting from a comms perspective, the levels of service that customers receive online and offline have been unequal partners in the last few years, but the move to digital convergence will see excuses for poor service according to channel disappearing as a result.

2. Digital experience delivery makes (or breaks) firms

“A great digital experience is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a make-or-break point for your business as we more fully enter the digital age.” The report points to a growing number of firms that have chosen a mobile-first approach, but then falling flat because “systems of record cannot keep up with engagement needs.”

To a greater extent, customers’ impressions of a business are established through digital engagement forcing businesses to recognise that “software is the brand.” Some CIOs are losing their influence over the decisions in these areas as digital experience agencies are engaged by chief marketing officers and chief technology officers to a greater extent than by chief information officers.”

Again the barriers between the digital and physical worlds are collapsing and those that still see digital and mobile as a secondary experience will not only lose business, but also damage their reputation.

3. Sensors and devices draw ecosystems together

“The Internet-of-Things will move from hype to reality with the ubiquity of connectivity and proliferation of devices, and wearable computing will go from niche to broader use. This will turn the traditional “spray-and-pray promotional campaigns” into marketing to ecosystems that emerge as a result of these changes.”

Our society’s obsession with devices and connectivity will have a deeper impact as improved infrastructure allows us to move from only using a limited amount of device capability, to exploring full potential with accessible connectivity and brands offering more useful ways to engage digitally. As a result, disconnected marketing campaigns that do not work across devices and experiences will result in failure.

4. “Trust” and “identity” get a rethink

“The report suggests that trust has been irreparably harmed as “it’s impossible to identify ‘trusted’ interfaces, many data breeches come from trusted insiders, and the concept of ‘trust’ doesn’t even apply to data packets.”

Consumerisation of IT means that a greater number of IT devices and apps are being used in the workplace, especially by the digital natives. IT’s need to catch up with this will continue to be the norm. Forrester also points out that “the minimum cost of a data breech is $10 million, and in many cases it can be much larger”, and so it cannot be ignored.”

Data breaches may not seem an obvious element for comms, but as digital is now the face of most brands and the first touch point for customers, data security will become increasingly important for all brand functions. Leaks and accidents will not be as readily accepted as a cost of doing digital business, at least by the customer.

5. Firms learn from the cloud and mobile

“Many firms have cloud strategies and mobile strategies, but the report makes the point that the benefits of the cloud will be limited by the speed with which traditional applications are re-written to take advantage of cloud. Without this redesign, benefits will be limited.

Additionally, mobile strategies that have been a part of IT strategies across industries for a couple of years are now insufficient given the need to think of mobile as only one part of a broader omni-channel approach which requires a new kind of “application architecture that must be capable of supporting systems of engagement.”

This is another important point in terms of the technology needing to keep pace with the connectivity, where as in the past connectivity has been the weak point in the technology race.

IT infrastructure needs to switch from a wired bias to a cloud-based accessibility blueprint, ready for the consumer that is not afraid to try new tools at the drop of a hat and on the move.




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September 30th, 2006




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September 30th, 2006




Tel: 07900 886 791

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